Top job: Pauline Lucas, HR director, Hampshire County Council

Hampshire County Council has appointed Pauline Lucas director of HR. She has been with the council for five years. For the past year she was acting director of HR and prior to that, head of personnel and training in the social services department.

Where were you working before?
Before coming to Hampshire CC, my HR career had been spent in the private sector in a range of industries from defence to IT and financial services.

What will be your duties in your new role?
I will focus on developing a strategic and e-HR service and continue to drive reward, performance management and leadership programmes to help create a culture of change.

What do you hope to achieve?
To see my HR team further develop their talents and competencies to become a dynamic, commercially focused, added-value HR function.

What’s the strangest situation you’ve been in at work?
Being a spectator in an operating theatre while a new product was being used.

How will HR change over the next five years?
There will be less process, more consultancy and more focus on developing leadership. I also believe HR needs to look at diversity and wellbeing programmes in the light of the pensions, age and stress issues on the horizon.

What’s the best thing about HR?
Knowing the function has the capability to make powerful contributions and demonstrate added value and seeing that input help an organisation achieve its potential. No two days are the same.
And the worst?

Seeing and hearing a lot of HR speak about strategies and theories which masks a lack of action, added value and innovation.

How do you fill your spare time?
I enjoy walking and have five Labrador dogs which my husband and I train. I have also just taken up swimming again.

What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?
When my children were young, starting a keep fit club with no real sense of whether or not it would be popular or whether anyone would turn up on the first night.

What’s essential in your job?
The ability to manage and drive change, join up the dots while keeping a sense of proportion and, of course, humour.

What advice would you give to someone starting in HR?
Don’t plan your career too rigidly and take every chance to gain experience in all areas of HR. Look for projects that may stretch your current level of knowledge and experience.

What’s the last book you read?
Post mortem by Patricia Cornwell.

Who would play you in a film and why?
Anyone who can make me look two dress sizes smaller.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Definitely one of the current Scotland rugby team – great legs!


  • 2004 Director of HR, Hampshire County Council
  • 2003 Acting head of HR, Hampshire CC
  • 2000 Head of personnel and training, Social Services, Hampshire CC
  • 1997 HR business partner, Sun Life of Canada

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